KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh hearing custom cases ordered release of a consignment of fresh apples from China after a laboratory test regarding fitness of the imported item for human consumption.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Shahid Mehmood, importer represented by Franklin Law Associates. The counsel for petitioner at the outset of the hearing said that he is an auction purchaser and now customs department officials are demanding import permit. The counsel said that being auction purchaser, petitioner has submitted a certificate from Chinese health ministry with reference to consignment of fresh apples.

The counsel for petitioner said that his client is ready for physical inspection of the consignment brought into country in refrigerated container and thus expenses including refrigeration are piling up. The petitioner side said it was ready to pay fee of laboratory test so that controversy regarding fitness of apples for human consumption is put to rest. The item has a short shelf life and importer/petitioner would face huge loss, the counsel contended.

The bench agreeing to the proposal regarding lab test ordered provisional release of the item if laboratory test declares it fit for human consumption.